T Nation

5x5 vs 3x(8-10)

Sometimes we love putting heavier weight so we can do 5x5…is that enuff for hypertrophy as opposed to universal 3x8? I love 5x5 training for exercises like bench,dead,squat,pull up,but I want to meet my goal of hypertrophy and not just strength.

comparing straight volume, there is almost no difference (5x5 = 25, 3x8 = 24). In my mind, it’s volume or time under tension (tut), that really builds muscle (along with the interaction of rest periods, frequency, etc). Bottom line, as long as you get a pretty good volume of reps in, and keep your rest periods relatively short, you’ll get hypertrophy. I remember Pavel Tsatsouline saying once that for hypertrophy to occur, you need at least 35 quality reps per bodypart…

When u mention 35 reps per bodypart this is done over say…2-3 exercises right?

Thanks for explaining.

I will confirm what Cam was saying about the reps, that it is at least 25-100 reps total per bodypart in order to induce hypertrophy. I think the big difference in the set and rep schemes it in the 5 x 5 routine, you can use more weight because of the lower reps. Greater weights lead to greater muscle tension, a key for protein degradation (the starter pistol for growth).Volume increases will cause hypertophy, an experiment to vaidate this might be to do bench presses for 5 sets of 5 with the same weight on each set, and use weights that you would normally go to 6-7 reps with, in other words- leave a couple of reps in the tank by going only to 5. The last set will be tough, but make sure you get your 5 reps. Here’s the experiment part: next time you work chest, to 6 sets of 5 reps, again all with the same weight. Add one set a week for the next 3 weeks then back off and go back to 5 x 5 for 2-3 weeks, then start adding sets again. It’s just an experiment, so think like a scientist and discover what results you get. I train this way and find that my gains are really good.


When it comes to the 55 training method and a question of hypertrophy the results can be contradictive but yet benefical. When taining to muscular failure, heavy weights for low reps is an excellent method to increase strength, primarily. As mentioned, the bench press, deadlift, and the squat are good exercises to execute the 55 method because of there large recruitment of motor units and involement of different muscle groups. Tendons are made stronger and nuerelogical conditioning is adpative for the progressive poundage principle which is important for strength training. Although those three compound movements are important for the overall growth of the muscular system, hypertrophy of the muscles need a different approach. Keeping the core exercises as the basis of the program, one would benefit with higher reps and mulitple amount of sets. These exercises should be non-compound movements such as the pull-ups, incline flies, curls, tricep push downs, leg extensions, ect. With this method of training the 5*5 and select exercises for hypertrophy, strength and increase muscle mass would be benefical to most trainees.

Hey freques, I’m ravingly glad that this thread is up. I finished 4 weeks of 5x5 for my Monkey Mass Mania program (gained 8 lbs.) and I’m switiching over to GVT on Monday. Here’s the dillema: Right after GVT I plan on doing Meltdown, that’s 8 straight weeks of 10 rep work, which may send my strength straight to hell for a while. I do not wish this. Instead, I’m thinking of doing GVT with a 6-8 rep range. THus, I’ll have 4 weeks of 5x5 4 weeks of 3x6-8 and then 4 weeks of 3x10. Whatcha think? Thanks.

"MB Eric: It's shake and bake...and I opted for the shake, since 1455."


Bumpin’ up tha thread, bumpin’ up da thread, bumpin’ up tha thread, bumpin’ up da thread…Anyyyybody?

MBE - Poliquin originally recommended trying GVT with lower rep ranges during all cycles subsequent to the first. I hear ya - personally, I’d have to use so little weight to be able to get 10x10 on anything that strength would go to pot and it’d all seem kinda pointless. But I bet that if you do GVT with sets of 5, or even less, you’ll be quite satisifed with the results. Don’t westside guys do something similar (8x2 with minimal rest between sets) on speed days?